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DigilentStudio

Analog Discovery compared to Saleae?

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camelCased asked for a comparison of the Analog Discovery to Saleae devices on our Analog Discovery Quickstart video.

 

Since the Saleae logic devices seem to have a lot in common with the Analog Discovery, It may be valuable to do hear some technical comparisons.

 

Both devices use freely-downloadable software; how do these programs differ from each other?

 

From a quick look at the Saleae website, Digilent devices seem to have far superior support matierial. However a more comprehensive review is needed to fully understand how these products compare to one another.

 

 

Edited by Josh
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Hi, thanks for the fast reaction to my Youtube comment, that's awesome :) .

 

Analog Discovery devices are really great but there is some functionality which I could sacrifice to get the price down. I'm not a student, so the best price I could find in Europe is about 250 Euros. I thought that a cheaper option with 8 or even 4 logic channels would be more affordable and suit my current needs. That's why I started looking for alternatives with 4 and 8 channels, and so I found Saleae and also BitScope Micro and also LabNation Smartscope .

 

I am a programmer who sometimes has some hardware related projects - audio waveforms, digital communications over UART or SPI. I think that a reliable USB oscilloscope and a logic analyzer (preferably, both in a single device) should be good enough.

 

As I'm somewhat new to all this oscilloscope stuff, I'll have to spend some time comparing specs and reviews to find out which solution would be the best for me considering price / performance.

 

Currently it seems that it is really hard to find devices which have strong both analog and logic analysis functionality. Analog Discovery is unique from this aspect. That's why it would be great to have other options with the same quality but maybe less functionality for a more affordable price; for example, an Analog Discovery model without signal generators and power sources and with just 4 or 8 logic analyzer channels but without sacrificing quality.

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I think you make a good case.  Fortunately for me, I am a student and got the student pricing on the Analog Discovery, but before I purchased it, I was also looking for a fairly cheap option ($100 - $150 range), and came across the Saleae selection.  If it were not for the faster sample rate of the Discovery over their equivalent $100ish choice, I might have picked the Saleae.  But I think you are right, I think there is a demand out there for a cheaper analyzer with limited functonality.

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It would be great to get this idea to Digilent team (whoever is responsible for their strategy), and maybe they will find it reasonable to produce new models targeted at hobbyists or occasional users, who need basic analog oscilloscope + logic analyzer functionality with the same excellent quality of current Analog Discovery devices. I'm really looking forward to this.  :)

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As someone who owns both, they aren't really competitors for me. I have the old Logic, which doesn't do analog signals, so I don't know how that part of the new ones are. From the demo in the software, it seems like it's treated similarly to the digital signals, where you can record a bunch of samples and then look at them. Here's my comparison of the two:

 

The Analog Discovery is an excellent analog device. The oscilloscope and AWG are great, and for the price there isn't really anything that compares with it. The ability to view signals in realtime using the oscilloscope is a feature that the new Logic devices don't seem to support. Additionally, the Analog Discovery supports outputting signals. You can drive a clock from it, or even send data, though the software doesn't yet provide an easy interface for it. The Analog Discovery is excellent at dealing with analog circuits, as well as basic digital CMOS circuits, but it falls short when it comes to dealing with microcontrollers, the software falls short.

 

The Logic is good at one thing, and it's really good at that. The hardware in the version I have isn't as impressive spec-wise, but it's more than sufficient and the software more than makes up for it. The Logic software makes analyzing communications simple and intuitive. It supports 19 protocols right now, and they've been adding more continuously (it was less than half that when I bought mine). You can search through decoded messages, easily add bookmarks/measurements, and have it auto-detect protocol settings (like baudrate for UART). The analog channels seem to be more for debugging erroneous messages in a communication line than as a replacement for an oscilloscope.

 

The Analog Discovery and Saleae Logic are both great at what they do, but I think those are different things. I wouldn't reach for the Analog Discovery when debugging a digital circuit, nor would I get out the Logic for anything that wasn't communications based.

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